How to Deal with Haters

You know what it’s like…

You’re out there working hard, passionate about who you are and what you’re doing, and up pops a “hater” – a negative naysayer who puts you down and trashes you.

Unpleasant, right?

Well, I’ve got good news and bad news…

The bad news is that haters are inevitable, unavoidable, and simply a fact of life.

Luckily, the good news is that I’ve got a potent strategy for dealing with haters (…and believe me, I’ve had a few).

Before we get into that, though, first let me lay out my philosophy regarding where “hate” comes from.

I believe the words a person uses are the window to their soul.

I can tell a lot about how a person is wired, their psychology, even their physiology, based on the words they use.

Whether you agree or not, let’s start with the assumption that beliefs, thoughts, words, and actions are directly related.

From my perspective, beliefs are where it all begins, because…

Our beliefs drive our thoughts

For example…

If you believe making money is hard, that will affect your thoughts about doing something to make money.

If you’ve got a new ad campaign your thoughts might include…

“Man, I hope this works.”

Or…

“Ugh, this is going to be difficult.”

Those thoughts rise up out of your beliefs.

If you believe that getting and staying fit and healthy is hard, you might think…

“It’s not worth going to the gym, so I’m just going to put it off.”

And, what’s interesting is…

Our thoughts drive our words

If you think something’s hard, then you’re going to use words like…

“This sucks.”

Or…

“This just isn’t for me.”

On the other hand, if you believe anything is possible, you’ll think…

“Hey, man, success is possible.”

And you’ll say things like…

“No worries, I’ve got this.” 

If our beliefs cause our thoughts, and our thoughts create our words, then it goes without saying that words really do have power.

It goes like this: our words drive our actions, actions create results, and results reinforce beliefs.

And there you go – it’s one big circle.

I like to call it…

The Cycle of Performance

Here’s a visual to help illustrate…

To dive in, let’s talk about the power of words.

When you react emotionally to words, you either surrender or claim power.

There are certain words that “trigger” people.

When people get triggered, they allow themselves to react in inappropriate and sometimes even comical ways.

Let me tell you what I mean by sharing a story.

I was speaking at a private, high-end mastermind conference a few years ago.

It was four days long, and cost several thousand dollars just to get in the door.

One of the other speakers was a guy worth just short of a BILLION dollars.

He flew in from the Middle East to share his wisdom about how he did it, and to show the people in the room how they could do the same.

In his first 15 seconds onstage, he dropped an “F bomb.”

From there on out it was “game on.”

He used more profanity than even I use – and I was in the US Navy! (Ever heard of something called “Sailor’s Mouth?”)

But…

This dude delivered amazing wisdom

As I listened from the back of the room, a guy walking out stopped and said to me…

“I can’t listen to him anymore. His profanity is offensive to me.”

I asked…

“So, what have you learned from him? Are you getting any good information?” 

He said…

“The information awesome and I think there’s some stuff in there that could help me. But I just have to walk out. I can’t listen to him anymore.” 

Now, this same desperate guy told me the day before…

“I need to make money, I need to make my business grow, if this doesn’t work…blah, blah, blah…”

…using all kinds of emotionally-charged language about how he’s not going to be able to make it.

What’s fascinating is this is the same guy who walks out of the room the minute the speaker starts dropping “F bombs.”

Here’s my point…

If we surrender our power to words, then we are no different from any other victim

This guy chose to stay stuck.

He justified staying stuck by getting offended at salty language.

It was easier than hearing and taking action on the actual message that the speaker delivered.

The speaker wasn’t telling people go out and kill people, or do anything heinous or immoral.

He was talking about things that work.

He was actually describing the pathway to riches and wealth.

He just happened to use a lot of profanity.

Here’s the point…

If we allow ourselves to get triggered by what people say or the way they say it, then we’ve surrendered our power.

It’s like walking around with one hand tied behind your back.

Now let’s talk about the word “hate.”

That word carries a tremendous emotional charge.

So I suggest you be very careful when you assign the term “hater” to someone who disagrees with you.

Typically, when we describe somebody as a “hater,” the only thing going on is that they DISAGREE with something we think, do, believe, or say.

So you need to ask yourself what it means when somebody disagrees with you, instead of getting worked up about it.

Personally, I believe having “haters” is a great thing

If people disagree with you, you should be happy.

Pat yourself on the back.

The primary reason “haters” show up is they’re insecure.

There’s something about themselves they don’t like seeing in you.

Maybe it’s your hustle, your grind, or your grit.

Maybe you moved past your excuses and into action.

Here’s another story – from my own family.

I have a 9-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter.

If either one of them ever drops a 4-letter word in conversation, I don’t freak out. Neither does my wife. We really don’t worry about it.

The only thing we don’t allow them to say is, “I can’t.”

The minute they say they can’t do something, or start filling the air with excuses – that’s when the conversation comes to a dead stop.

That’s when we have the talk about “foul language.”

When you say “you can’t,” and start talking about all the reasons you won’t get stuff done, you’re just making excuses.

Now that’s foul!

That’s where “haters” typically live

They live in a place of can’t and excuses.

They live in a place of fear, worry, and doubt.

They live in a place of limited possibilities.

When they see you doing your thing, charging forth with your vision, your business, your mission, and acting on your values…that can be very frightening for them.

Of course, they’re going to lash out.

Years ago a guy went on a website and bashed me, simply because I was hanging out and doing business with two people he didn’t like.

He decided to “hate on me.”

My reaction? I ignored him. I didn’t care. I got back to work.

Why give him any power by assigning an emotionally charged word like “hater” to him?

So one of the best ways to deal with “haters” is to ignore them.

The other ways to deal with them is to appreciate them.

The fact is, if you’ve got haters, it means you’re doing something RIGHT.

You’re doing something that has triggered somebody somewhere – and that person may or may not need your message.

But other people DO need your message.

If you’re pleasing everybody, you have a problem

Somebody once said…

“If you’re pleasing everybody, you’re lying to somebody.”

Let that sink in.

If you’re on your mission, if you’re kicking ass, if you are completely intense and invested in what you’re doing, in your vision…then guess what?

You are going to ruffle feathers.

Darren Hardy, the former editor of Success Magazine, puts it even more bluntly…

“Piss more people off.”

I think you should piss people off. I’ve done it in my own career.

When I talk about my disdain for the “law of attraction” that pisses a lot of the “woo-woos” off.

When I talk about my disdain for goal setting and smart goals and all that stuff, it pisses people off.

In my industry, the personal growth industry, they say…

“Hey, dude, why don’t you toe the line?”

My answer?

“No!”

I believe in my values, my vision, my mission, and my purpose…and that is to help people actually get RESULTS, as opposed to keeping them stuck.

If you believe in what you do, you are going to get haters

Most people will never even admit to the possibility of being a hater.

So, let me ask you directly…

Are you a hater?

Do you find yourself reacting to people (maybe even in this industry) by saying things like…

“No way, man. That person is off their rocker, what a jerk, what a creep, what a bozo.”

Let me give you a real quick strategy to get past that.

When somebody thinks, says, or acts differently than you do, I want you to embrace it.

Celebrate it.

Let it give you your power back.

Why?

Because the WORST thing you can do is to follow this conventional advice…

Maybe you’ve heard that you should…

“Surround yourself with like-minded people.”

Well, guess what…“like-minded people” don’t challenge you as much as those who disagree with you, or see things differently.

People who have different view points make you step outside of your comfort zone.

People with different views help you to see you might not have it all figured out.

And they can also keep you out of your ego, where you think you’re right all the time.

That’s a good thing!

Does embracing their point of view mean that you have to agree with them, buy into their philosophy, or follow their dogma?

No! Of course not.

But you can use the disagreement as a prompt to ask…

“Do they have a point?”

Maybe they can teach you something

If they’re calling you out on something, maybe it’s an example of the “emperor’s new clothes” syndrome.

You’ve heard the story about the emperor’s new clothes?

It goes like this…one day the emperor’s staff flattered him, saying…

“Ooh, we’re dressing you in the most beautiful garments and you’re going to look awesome!”

Now, he couldn’t actually see these clothes, but he didn’t want to look like a fool.

His ego was too big.

So, saying to himself, “Yeah, I must look pretty awesome,” he walked out to greet his staff.

Even though everyone could see clearly that he was NAKED, nobody wanted to be the person who questioned the emperor.

He was surrounded by “yes-people.”

Sycophants.

And when he walked out into the public square…completely naked…a little kid pointed and laughed at him – and then the whole village joined in.

This child basically told the emperor what the emperor didn’t want to hear, because he didn’t know any better.

Point being that as a leader or entrepreneur, you don’t want to be the emperor.

You need to hear the truth!

And sometimes it comes from the strangest places.

That’s why I’m telling you it is okay to hear from the “haters.”

But, if you allow their hate, disdain, or disagreement to bring you down, make you surrender your power, and question your mission, that’s when damage is done.

You don’t want to surround yourself with yes-people.

And you don’t want to allow yourself to be wrapped up in the drama of negativity.

So, how do you walk that line?

Someone recently asked my opinion about a well-known info-marketer on the Internet.

You’ve probably seen this person around, showing their wealth and money, bragging about it non-stop.

In my opinion, this particular marketer is obnoxious.

His message is one that just doesn’t resonate with me.

So here’s what I said…

“Nah, it’s not my cup of tea”

I’m not deflecting or trying to take the easy way out.

I’m just telling the truth.

Did I make that person wrong?

Absolutely not.

Maybe for some people their message works.

Maybe that person represents the hero that inspired them to get up off the couch, get moving, and change their lives.

It’s entirely possible.

But, I think it’s silly.

I might even think the person is completely slimy.

So rather than choosing to go down the “hater” path and bash that person I simply say…

“Nah, it’s not my cup of tea.”

At the end of the day, I’m not bashing the person, I’m disagreeing with their philosophy.

So when somebody tells you “no,” or to “go to hell,” or that you’re crazy, ridiculous, or wrong, or that it’s never going to work…

It’s not you. It’s them.

They’re not rejecting you

They’re rejecting the idea.

Sometimes people are confused or they need more information.

Maybe you just need to do a better job of communicating with or educating them.

The point is you probably don’t have actual “haters” in the world.

But if some people tell you how crappy you are, how screwed up you are, how you are going down the path to ruin…

Pat yourself on the back!

Give yourself some credit for being that person who finally stands for something other people think is crazy, ludicrous, scary, or ridiculous.

Chances are you’re walking a powerful path and taking other people to greatness with you.

If people hate on you remember this…

“You are not their cup of tea.”

That will help you stay not only positive, but powerful.

You’ll be able to see the value in – and learn from – everything around you, even the people who disagree with you.

If you ever find yourself acting like a “hater,” ask yourself…

“Do I really want to go down this path? Or do I just disagree with the philosophy?”

That’s simply part and parcel of being a human being with critical thinking skills.

Make sense?

Now…

If you’d like to learn more about claiming your power…

…communicating effectively, and thinking more critically about getting REAL results in your business…

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Sincerely,
J.T. DeBolt
Director of Leadership Development
Elite Marketing Pro

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J.T. DeBolt

JT DeBolt is the Director of Leadership Development at Elite Marketing Pro. JT served over 12 years of active duty in the United States Navy, working his way through the ranks from enlisted aircraft mechanic to combat-decorated Naval Aviator. He leverages his leadership and entrepreneurial experience to help business leaders accomplish their missions in business and life

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